$10 Minimum Wage to be in California by 2016

By: Bennett Rieser - September 13, 2013

Reuters reported via NBC News this morning that minimum wage workers in California would see their wages rise a dollar a year from $8 today to $10 in January 2016.

California Republicans argued that hiking minimum wages would hurt the smaller employers, or the “mom and pop operations” as they said. Many business-friendly Democrats were also skeptical, as was Gov. Brown at first. But when the bill was amended to give the specific date of January 2016 to have a $10 minimum wage, most found themselves in support. One Democrat assemblyman who was initially against the bill, Al Muratsuchi, said that “this time I’m supporting this bill because it is a compromise… It gives employers predictability to plan for the higher labor costs.”

Although no states currently legislate a minimum of $10 wages, the highest minimum is currently Washington with $9.19, and several states are thinking about following in California’s footsteps.

Regardless of what businesses California Republicans are claiming will take a hit from increased wages, it is giant multinationals like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart that possess the loudest voices in the room. The 24/7 Wall St. version of the story via Yahoo Finance has the big corporations painting a higher minimum wage as wrecking their profits and making it impossible to take care of shareholders, but pressure from voters can have an interesting effect when it comes to reducing the power of lobby dollars.

Some businesses are even thinking they can just wait out the fury, because worker-friendly movements like Occupy Wall Street have a tendency to fizzle and fade away like a forgotten trend. But the biggest problem with Occupy Wall Street revolved around their leaderless lack of direction and focus with regard to any one societal ill. The California wage fight has a focused goal (the transformation of a minimum wage into a living wage), and businesses should go ahead and acknowledge the writing on the wall: that $7.25/hour is not a living wage for anyone, and that’s a fact.

[Image via a PBS news story on YouTube about Jerry Brown’s budget balancing initiatives]
Bennett Rieser

About the Author

Bennett RieserBennett is a college-educated contract writer with WebProNews. When not bombarded by fascinating news or political upheaval, he spends his time relaxing with good friends, loyal family, and typically some of the many bastions of free internet discourse.

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  • Lindsay

    By 2016 minimum wage will need to be $15 an hour. Get serious. I am a single person without kids and can’t live off $10 an hour. I find it funnly that the people making these choices have never had to struggle and would’nt know what it was like to go without!!!!!

    • Alex

      If you’d like to make more than $10/hour how about you learn some marketable skills which command more than that on the open market.

      • @Alex

        And doing so takes money, which you don’t have because your minimum wage job does not pay enough.

        Come on… you have to be smarter than your comment indicates.

        • Alex

          If you have access to the internet you have a ton of free education at your disposal. Also, if you truly have the drive to learn a skill you can always offer up your labor for free on a part-time basis in exchange for learning the ropes in a given industry or trade. I’m confident a high percentage of tradesmen, sales reps, etc would jump at the opportunity to receive free help.

    • jonny

      Lindsay I agree with you it is hard to live nowadays. If you want to make more money you will need to get a degree. If they rise the wage to 15, which right now college grads make; life will not get cheaper but more expensive. Best thing to do is get an education!

    • Pa

      I understand the desire to have the minimum wage also be one that you can live on.

      If anyone wishes to bring back apprenticeships then I would be all for the minimum wage to be able to support a SINGLE person. In order to GET that minimum wage, of course, you would have to work for FREE until you are sufficiently trained to do the job at hand and pass a series of tests to prove it.

      If you then choose to go forward and become expert in your field you could get periodic wage increases. If you want to be a bump on a log then you don’t deserve more money even if you hold your breath until you turn blue. This is called “Pay for Performance”.

      Remember, you deserve nothing unless you earn it.

    • June

      I don’t agree with you Lindsay. You should be happy that we are even getting a minimum wage of 10 dollars. Laborers in other countries only get made a dollar a day…and they work well over the 40 hours a week mark. So please appreciate what you have…

      • June

        Are you kidding me June?

        Those laborers are making a dollar a day so that the products you use every day are cheap!!! You are the cause of those workers living below poverty. Remember that when you go to your local Walmart and find cheaply priced items.

        Who the heck are you kidding.

    • @Lindsay

      You are right. The people out there making these choices are the rich. Pull up every net worth and salary of every elected official you have and see how much they are worth. Look at their benefit packages. Look at how much money lobbyists are pouring into their campaigns and personal companies.

      They will never have to struggle. Ever. I once went out with the daughter of a politician and she told me that she though a normal car was a BMW. That everyone can afford one of those. She was dead serious.

      That is how out of touch those in power are.

      • rf

        Listen here idiots of the world. The ones making $10 are the people working at job agencies, factories, fast food places and other hard or undesirable labors. They are honest jobs, but the majority of them do not have an education. I respect them for working those jobs, they should get paid alot more than that, unfortunately that will not happen. Education is the best opportunity out there. Instead of trying to reward them with $10 an hour, which is still bad. The government should provide them with schooling and more opportunity. For the ones who want it.

  • http://Yahoo Guy Joseph

    How is the proposed minimum wage of $10 going to help me pay my
    bills today? As we know 2016 is a long way off, and many changes could happen by then.

  • Mike

    No, the real issue here is that a large percentage of people feel that the minimum wage needs to be a LIVING wage. In America, you have the right to life, you have the right to liberty, and you have the right to PURSUE happiness. The key word is the “pursuit.” No one individual, no one group, and no one government owes anybody anything. To say that the government should raise minimum wage because people cannot live off of it is tantamount to saying that it is the government’s responsibility to make sure you aren’t struggling. This is absolutely absurd to think. The truth is that minimum wage is for unskilled labor – work that requires less than a month of total training, work that demands very little to no human capital, work that has essentially no economic impact. Minimum wage, therefore, is not typically reserved for somebody who produces a valuable (not necessarily monetarily valuable) good or service but rather for somebody who has nothing marketable and no human capital. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but the big picture is that there is no economic need to raise minimum wage.

    Currently, there is a higher demand for minimum wage jobs than there are positions available. When the wages go up, so will demand. As demand goes up, supply naturally does down, thus creating an even larger disparity between jobs desired and jobs provided. As such, when some college student studying electrical engineering decides he wants some extra walking around money, he will find that $10 an hour is truly worth his time. So, he goes and applies for a menial, rote job that otherwise would have gone to the unskilled worker but being that this college student has a penchant for training, he takes the job away from those that this proposed “living wage” is supposed to protect. This of course is just an example, not even as valuable as anecdotal evidence, but still is more than likely what the unskilled job market is going to become.

    We cannot now become a country where supposed-birthrights become the problem of small business owners and the asset to the underemployed and the bored teenagers. With this bill, we are saying that the value of having no human capital is $400 a week, and that even with no ambition to be trained for a skilled job, everyone DESERVES to be taken care of. What kind of a place will this be if there is a safety net if you fail? Where you are rewarded for trying and punished for succeeding? How can you supporters of this sit idly by with your proclamations of “If you didn’t go through it, you don’t understand it,” when you know, truly know, that normative economics cannot be answered with feelings or sympathy but rather with positive economics and rational thought.

    Take a lesson for the person who is very likely going to be harangued for this, no one deserves a living wage. Like respect, you have to earn it, and even then sometimes fate (figuratively) disagrees. If you are fortunate enough to become skilled at a trade or learn to provide a service invested in more than just yourself, then consider yourself lucky. If not, consider yourself lucky all the same. It truly is a shame that people cannot see how valuable being alive is, even if you don’t have the means to travel or retire or even eat three meals a day. There is so much more to life than just finding the next “societal-ill.”

    • Hmm

      That is a very short sighted view on the situation and your assumption is that those people making minimum wage are not hard workers.

      Your argument is old and tired and full of baseless stereotypes.

  • bill

    the mental giants that rule California are at it again, low or free tuition for illegals, hand outs for all, and now a min wage that will put a lot of people out of work, and close done some businesses.

    people are not supposed to support a family on the minimum wage, they should not have a family if that is all they make. if you can’t take care of them, then don’t have them. but here, the left wingers think everyone has a right even if others have to pay for it.

    • Hmm

      And you are very foolish to think that this is a left wing or a right wing issue.

      Americans divide themselves so often by identifying themselves as a republican, democrat, or tea party member. Liberal, moderate, or conservative. Left wing or right wing.

      All Politicians are the same. They go to the same schools, share the same benefits, invest in the same companies, join the same clubs, date/marry from the same circles, and are members of the 1% richest people in the country. In a very real way, they are like professional wrestlers. On TV, all the wrestlers hate each other, but behind closed doors they are all friends.

  • Rocking Rocker

    Republicans have been arguing about the minimum since the 30s when it was just 50 cents an hour. They always claimed that it will decimate the economy. hmmmm….lets see…the last time I saw any decimation is when the unrestricted loans were made in 2003-2006 and then when it stop, EVERYTHING came crashing down. If I recall right, it was with a Republican Congress and President.

    • bill

      you don’t recall right, started by Clinton and pushed by your two loveys Barney and Chris

    • Hmm

      Americans divide themselves so often by identifying themselves as a republican, democrat, or tea party member. Liberal, moderate, or conservative. Left wing or right wing.

      All Politicians are the same. They go to the same schools, share the same benefits, invest in the same companies, join the same clubs, date/marry from the same circles, and are members of the 1% richest people in the country. In a very real way, they are like professional wrestlers. On TV, all the wrestlers hate each other, but behind closed doors they are all friends.

      There only two true parties: the rich and the poor. Make no mistake about that. The rich want everyone to sit back and argue about what political party is the best because it distracts everyone from what the real issue is.

  • Reality

    Any help the poor and middle class can get is a good thing. It is needed. The middle class is being decimated and the rich are getting much richer in this nation. Anyone who has ever studied history knows that this is a precursor to a society collapsing or a the establishment of a police state. Let’s look at what has happened in our society since 9/11:

    – We have 5% of the world population but 25% of the world’s prisoners.
    – No-warrant wire taps.
    – Indefinite detention of citizens without charges.
    – Approval of rendition of prisoners and torture.
    – Stop and frisk without probable cause.
    – Search and seizure without a warrant.
    – No-knock entry,
    – Confiscation and destruction of cameras that film police acting illegally.
    – Police brutality and police shootings that go without investigation.
    – Managed news.
    – The civil-rights destroying “Patriot” Act.
    – FEMA camps.
    – TSA expansion beyond airports.
    – Internet entrapment cases framing people for crimes that do not occur.
    – People going to prison for crimes against fictitious people who do not even exist.
    – Major increases in victimless crimes in the US.
    – Cameras on every street corner.
    – A massive statewide push to build prisons across the entire nation.
    – National privatization of prison building and listing of prisons on stock exchanges.
    – The NSA program.
    – RFID program push.

    The stage is being set. Just look at the list above. If the middle class collapses in this nation, we are headed for major problems. The wealthy ruling elite are only looking out for themselves. Warren Buffet paid 11% in taxes in the year 2010. A billionaire paid only 11%. There are people on fixed income and social security paying in the 20% range. When will the public realize that the battle is between the rich and the poor? The rich are in the White House, Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. They are also running our state governments and our corporations. They are doing nothing for the people and by doing nothing they are destroying this nation.

    Our country has fundamentally changed since 9/11. Since then a power and money grab as ensued. It is undeniable and there isn’t a person that can tell me things have gotten any better in the past 12 years that we have been fighting the never ending war on terror. A war that will never be won and one that isn’t meant to be won.

    What happens when the middle class is gone? Civil unrest on a massive scale happens. What happens when civil unrest on a massive scale happens? Martial law happens. What happens when martial law happens? Your society transforms into a fully functional police state.

    This will only be getting worse.

    • Reality

      There is also the other side to this discussion no one ever talks about — the general price level of good and services in the US.

      In 4 short years, my average pack of gum doubled in price. Nothing happened in society to precipitate such a drastic increase in price. Absolutely nothing.

      Unless you count the 12 years of needless wars we have been fighting in which not a dang thing has changed in the world and we are at just as much at risk now as we were the day before 9/11. Wars against terror which by the way will never end and will make many war based companies extremely profitable. Thereby lining the pockets of the wealthy who own stock in them. Which of course is all the politicians.

      If the wars did not double my pack of gum, why such the large increase? Can anyone say corporate greed?

    • http://yahoo William Ladine

      Dude. this is a capitalistic government. sure we don’t have any gladiatorial fights, but we are going to fall like rome. its going to be internal problems like us pumping money 24/7/365 to cover government expenses. It is happens with all the superpowers. Russia is in deep money trouble, Germany was one for 6 months then got reprimanded. Rome Lasted for 1000 years and fell just like America.

  • Eddie

    Why 2016.. why not 2013 or 2014

  • Walt

    The answer is NOT raising the minimum wage! That will result in things low wage workers need costing MORE. Do you think restaurants and stores won’t include those extra costs in the price of what they sell? Think again!

    The solution is giving more incentives to people to START and RUN businesses. Not by taxing and regulating them to death. This country was built on small businesses and the innovation that came from them!

    • @Walt

      The price of goods in this country have gone up 50% or more across the board since 2009. Nothing has happened to precipitate that increase. Wages most certainly have not rose in that timeframe and had no impact regarding that massive change in the price level of goods.

      The prices of your products are going to go up anyway. Don’t you see — the corporations are gouging everyone. All of this is artificial — the rich wanting to get richer and see their stock prices go up.

    • @Walt

      By the way … I do agree with what you said about starting businesses though. You are absolutely right in that regard.

    • @Walt

      One more thing Walt ….

      Do you really think our government would do something that smart? Helping people actually start small businesses?

      They spent well over $100 million dollars going after Lance Armstrong for an issue as stupid as steroid use. That $100 million could have started a lot of small businesses. A lot of them. But no —- they wanted to go on a witch hunt.

      President Obama took a vacation 4 weeks ago and where the travel expenses alone for Michelle amounted to over $100,000.

      Politicians simply do not care about the people. The look out for themselves.

  • ju7776

    Raising minimum wage again, will only increase prices from property taxes to bread and milk. Won’t solve a thing. Lower prices and leave wages where they are, people will start spending again.

  • GC


    This is a tax increase. Jerry Brown wants to solve his deficit not help minimum wage employees. This is a 25% increase by 2016 when it is fully in effect. The month this goes into effect, the state and the federal government will automatically get a similar increase from both the employee and the employers portion of tax, WHICH THE EMPLOYER PAYS EACH PAYROLL CHECK PERIOD TO THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Great job Jerry, increase the tax dollars coming from both the employee and the employer at the same time and nobody see’s this side do they.

    This will be a MAJOR TAX INCREASE to help JERRY BROWN with his problem, it will not the minimum wage employees. All other employees will demand and get a proportional cost of living increase to complement this minimum wage increase.

    This increase will do the following:

    Employers will need to figure out how to make ends meet and it won’t be to increase expenses or the number of employees/(hours).

    So Jerry Brown will solve his problem by getting a big increase in TAX REVENUE to decrease his deficit before the elections in 2014 & 2016.
    If the economy is bad now it will get worse with the above. The government budget will look great and so will Jerry. We already have high unemployement rates here in California, this will increase as well.

    Get ready to PAY 25-35% MORE for everything in 2014-2016. That should help everybody, especially the minimum wage employee. And the cycle repeats itself.

    Look at the bright side we all get to move up to a higher tax bracket so we can pay more taxes. That is a winner(Jerry wins again)

  • Richard Rider

    This CA minimum wage law applies to waiters, valets and other tip-receiving occupations (unlike several other states with minimum wage laws). At $10/hr PLUS tips, why go to college?

    Indeed, even at today’s $8/hr minimum wage, you’ll often find your waiter IS a liberal arts college grad. And not just because he/she can’t find a job using their degree.

    For a waiter in even a mid-priced restaurant, they get better total pay than a many modern college grads who have earned largely useless degrees. Moreover, part of a waiter’s income is unreported, and it’s a daily cash flow.